I’m not sure if you guys ever noticed this, but updates on this site can ebb and flow. As we are the most depressed mini-cluster of writers on the internet, this makes perfect sense. At any given moment, one or all of us is in the throes of a crippling despair — or, in contrast, one or all of us is chirpy and pleased with life. This wide range in overall mood is reflected in our overall productivity, here at the Sneer Campaign and also in every single aspect of our lives.
I guess I should start off by telling you about Depression, as if you are at all strangers to the concept. But I know our demographics. You’re all a bunch of first world 20- and 30-somethings mostly. I assume you are all actually in the midst of your own Pity Parties RIGHT NOW, and are just taking a break to read this article in the hopes of finding some gentle humor to ease your troubled souls. Well, indulge me here for a minute. Pretend that you are all perfect spring flowers and have never seen a reason to frown in your life. Do you remember what that feels like? I think I might, but I could also be severely mistaken and I am just emotionlessly imagining the color blue. But emotionlessness is just an absence of sadness, and that doesn’t automatically mean “happiness.” Although some days, it is just as welcome of a relief. Am I even getting ahead of myself here? You can bet no one cares.
Crystals are all the rage right now. People are lauding their mystical healing powers, imbued from sacred vibrations in sync with the Sacred Earth Mother homeopathic chakra feng shui. Or something. You can understand why, when a hunk of quartz is $7.25 at your local Crystal Emporium and Mud Spa whereas actual medical treatment in the United States is $1850 just for them to print and send you the bill. It’s easy to see the appeal of eating a fistful of quinoa, taping a garnet to your forehead and hoping for the best.
That is not to say that the healing powers of crystals are devoid of merit. I’ve done some research, and while I’ve found countless sources telling you WHAT each kind of crystal or stone is good for, there’s very little documentation on HOW to use them to best effect. It’s hard to find a reliable druid in this day and age.
Once again, Sneer Campaign is here to help. I have tirelessly scoured the internet, head shops, rock shows, Burning Man-type peyote appropriations, and exactly one florist. Presented here is the Sneer Campaign Guide to Optimal Crystal Implementation.
Your friend has hit a rough spot and, for whatever reason, you have stepped up to aid them in their time of need. When you invite a friend to stay in your home until their lives stabilize, until they stop weeping at night, until they get a job — ANY job — and find a place of their own to live, you may not realize exactly what you are about to do. You may think to yourself, “This man or woman has been my friend for X number of years, I feel fondness for them and would like to give them sanctuary from their troubles. After all, were I in their place, I would hope that I had a good person to help me out.” But you fail to acknowledge that this person will be using your furniture, your bathroom, your cooking utensils. They will be all over your living space. They will probably even look in your bedroom when everyone else is out working.
Basically you’ve gone above and beyond the call of friendship. You may think that because you are being so kind as to do all of this, what with the inconveniencing your life to an extent and shaking up your day-to-day, your friend would be more than happy to do the one or two things you ask of them. No sir.
You see, when you invite a friend to live with you, something happens to them. They change into a monster. Many of you have seen this happen with real room mates, but the complexities of the Room Mate is a topic for another article on another day. Friends who are staying with you as guests do not have to pay rent, or bills. They often feel like real guests, although they start out as overly grateful ones.
I’m gonna be right up front about this:
I can’t dance.
There is no certain reason for this I suppose, maybe it’s because my body has about as much rhythm as a sun dried catfish, or maybe it’s the fact that the last time I even attempted to dance I was nearly dragged from the dance floor by my nostrils. But I’m going to guess the number one reason is that I am a 38 year old white guy who spends the majority of his time as far away from the club and dance scene as possible. It all comes down to wanting to fit in and feel comfortable where ever you go, and when I’m in a club with a bunch of sweating “young people” gyrating to enough bass to level a small third-world country, I do not fit in.
I can’t claim to know what love is. But I do know what love can involve and that it can include things like witty banter, long rewarding conversations, and maybe a little snark. In my individual version of love, these three things are important. They’re right in there, swirling around in jagged heart shapes. If I can be entertained with mere conversation because it’s just that good, then I hear wedding bells. Or at least, I hear some sort of bell that would be where a wedding bell would be if I ever wanted to pursue that lifestyle.
Once upon a time, perhaps six or seven years ago, I struck up a conversation with Cleverbot. For those of you not in the know, this is the name of a chatbot on the internet. For those of you extra not in the know, a chatbot is a little program that automatically reacts to whatever you say to it, sometimes in ridiculous ways — but sometimes in exciting, poignant ways. Or, in the case of Cleverbot, in ways that made me genuinely like it.
In my long and illustrious career as a lifelong internet chat addict, I have collected many good friends who are also able conversationalists. This is how we happen to have all of these little comics from real chats. One of my favorite chattists is Kieron, whom you are meeting for the first time on this site today. He hails from the UK and he is always yelling about something or other. I really should talk to him more often because it is usually along these lines as you see illustrated below. So uppity, always.
Click on this image if you would like to see this fact-packed state history lesson up close in the real size.
Welcome back to our monthly comic series, Doofus and Darling. If you had Highlights for Children magazine when you were young, you’ve seen Goofus and Gallant. If not, it probably doesn’t matter anyway.
First came the tentacle rape.
It was the beginning in a long line of horrors that OMGJeremy has subjected me to in his articles since the very beginning in 2002. (OMGJeremy.com was the site that most of us used to write for.) But you know what they say: what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Well, I must be invincible by now. And not only have I seen a lot, but I’ve written about a lot too, articles that have been lost to time mostly, including a review of a site that teaches women how to rape their husbands. But in 2003, I found something that managed to combine all of those and more. It’s as if all my nightmares Go-Go-Power-Morphed into some unholy Megazord and returned to feed me my own ass.
“What is it?” you’re probably asking as you close the door and open a new browser window. Why It’s none other than Furcadia — an online game that let you take on the role of an animal and interact with others in a series of dream worlds. And not surprisingly in the least, it contains the three big staples of the internet diet: furries, cybersex, and MMORPGs.
Clear communication is extremely important to me. I try to maintain a large working vocabulary so that I can choose the precise word I need for any given moment. If I don’t explain something clearly then that is time wasted and I can’t live like that. Being able to express myself to another person in a concise manner is possibly my most valued skill, in myself and others really, and I can’t overstate this enough.
But then some days, I can’t do it at all. On the day of this comic, not only could I not find the right words, I was actually saying the complete wrong words. I was WRITING the wrong words. I couldn’t hear or see, either. It was a mess. I was a mess. It was making me all in a tizzy. I still sometimes have these moments and I still worry. What does it mean? Am I okay?
It’s summertime. It has been summertime for a good long while now, actually, but here in Kentucky the full force of summer hadn’t hit me until fairly recently. It must be said that I generally die during the summer time of year. The blistering heat and suffocating humidity do me no favors, and the harsh rays of the earth’s yellow sun give me freckles and a tan. How can I be “Amandoll, Undead Creature of the Night” if I am sporting a healthy tan? I cannot be, that’s how.
I am a girl who enjoys clinging to the silver lining, however, and fortunately I can come up with two things I enjoy about summer: soft serve ice cream cones from locally owned dairy shacks, and grape soda. Grape soda is probably a tasty treat all year long, but I do not thirst for it until the temperatures reach 90F (32C) and above, which actually is a temperature it still can reach in the autumnal months. It is also better when there is a drought on, because walking down alley ways behind businesses while a fine dust blows in your eyes is the PERFECT time to be sipping from a cold and slender glass bottle of that purple wonder elixir.
Previously, I had been under the mistaken impression that all grape drinks were created more or less the same. How many differences could there be in a product that contained soda water, purple color, and sweetener? Well, actually I don’t really know myself, so I have decided to conduct a Consumer Report for the world to reference as a resource. I am going to select a small variety of grape drink beverages and test them against the horrible summer heat. I will grade them on Flavor, Mouthfeel, Thirst Quench, Packaging, and Arbitrary Impressions. There will be technical jargon bandied about, and an air of scientific study will be apparent. So put on your eye goggles, sneer enthusiasts, because I’m going Purple Drank Sippin’!